You've sent in your resume, filled out the job application, and then you receive the call you've both hoped for and dreaded; You're invited to interview for an open job opportunity.
For many, the interview process is one of the most terrifying parts of the job hunting experience. It's the bridge that carries you from selling yourself on paper to being a new hire. It usually means you've made the initial cut and could be a serious contender for the job.
There are strategies to help you develop an effective game-plan and reduce anxiety for your next interview. Professional Interviewer Teresa Rome suggests "Be prepared and adapt on the spot."
11 News sat in as she held a mock interview with job seeker Donna Pina at the Women's Resource Agency in Colorado Springs. Donna has years of experience, but is now looking for a job after returning to Colorado Springs.
We learned quickly, there's more to the process than dressing nice and a firm handshake, and it starts the minute you walk in the door. The most important moment of your interview could be the first few seconds. After all, there's no second chance for a first impression.
Teresa says, get a feel for your interviewer right away. She says, "You need to mirror what your interviewer is like, because you never know what you're going to get. Just like Forrest Gump and the box of chocolates, it's the same thing in interviewing."
Be very business-like for a more business-like interviewer and loosen up a bit for one who's warmer and more open. Donna did a good job of this, picking up on Teresa's warm, open approach to interviewing. She smiled often and answered questions in a very conversational tone.
Preparation for your interview should include a number of stories about your experience using the "S.T.A.R." system. "S.T.A.R." is an acronym for explaining how you handled a "Situation" with a specific "Task", recalling the "Action" you took, and ending with the "Result" you achieved.
Donna used the "S.T.A.R." system very effectively, by sharing the story of her service to an anonymous elder abuse victim. The story was also very effective because it had a touching, human element to it. Teresa says, "She gave a great example and she touched our heart strings as well. What a great way to answer a question!"
You might want to search on the Internet ahead of time. Find the toughest questions and preparing for them. While you're at it, learn something about the company. They're doing their research out about you, so do the same with them. There's no better way to wrap up your interview than by asking some questions of your own.
Bottom line: replace fear with preparation, wrap your experience in determination and turn your job hunt into a job found.
Can you answer the 5 Toughest Interview Questions?
Professional interviewer Teresa Rome gives you some pointers. Click Here for these questions and tips. You can print this document for your records
The Women’s Resource Agency offers individual counseling, classes, groups, a school program and more to help women attain and maintain self-sufficiency. For more information, Click Here.
KKTV is hosting a Job Fair, Monday, April 26th in association with Pikes Peak Workforce Center and Mr. Biggs Family Fun Center. It will be an all day event at Mr. Biggs, located at 5825 Mark Dabling Boulevard, Colorado Springs. Check back with KKTV.com for more information on this upcoming event.
RAW VIDEO: You can never be too prepared for your next interview. Learn how the S.T.A.R. system of answering interview questions can help you do that. - Watch this raw interview with Teresa Rome/Professional Interviewer (Click on the video link above to watch!)
RAW VIDEO: You can help local women entering the workforce by sharing your experience in the business world. Here are volunteer opportunities available now at the Women’s Resource Agency. - Watch the entire interview with Beth Roalstad/WRA Executive Director. (Click on the video link above to watch!)